UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP: Why Diaz’s date for a protest presents a special problem for a potential counter-protest.
As the newly formed New Yorkers United to Marry sets their sights on the New York Senate, there’s one vote they’re definitely not going to swing.
It’s no real surprise that Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. was “affronted” by Governor Cuomo’s new push for gay marriage. Diaz has never been a fan of gay rights, despite having a gay chief of staff counsel, two gay brothers, and a Borough President son who is far less homophobic.
Joe My God reports this morning that Diaz Sr. plans to redouble his efforts. A JMG reader has translated a Spanish-language news story that says Diaz and Radio Vision Cristiana are “planning a huge anti-gay march in New York City on May 15, 2011. It will be held in the Bronx (starting at noon the participants will march from 149th Street and Third Avenue to 181st Street in the Bronx).” Joe’s posted video of a similar rally in 2009 which drew about 20,000 people.
Diaz’s antics are expected, but they’re a reminder of the uphill battle marriage equality activists have ahead of them. Nate Silver’s trend data showing opposition to gay marriage now being in the minority is encouraging in the long run, but there’s a long way to go before that translates into legislative power. Pam’s House Blend has a good run down of which state senators are the most likely swing votes in the coming campaign.
UPDATE: As word of Diaz’s planned anti-gay marriage rally spread through the gay activist community, there were quickly calls to create a counter demonstration.
But it won’t be so easy to round up many LGBT activists on May 15th: that’s the date of the annual AIDS Walk.
Robert Moore answered the call to action that date with a sigh, writing on Facebook, “We can not let this take away from the New York AIDS Walk though. While yes it sucks and pisses me off also, lives are depending on the AIDS walk and the money it raises. This is exactly why he is having it on this day to get people to go to his even to protest him to hurt the AIDS Walk.”
The Senator/Reverend may not be bright enough to know that there’s a line between church and state, but you have to admit there’s political genius in his date selection.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 22, 2011